Animated Short

Target Audience
Science enthusiasts aged 16+
Deliverables
Animated short
Goals
Educate the viewer on an extensive history of misogyny in the scientific community in under 60 seconds
Project Description
As a part of a school assignment, I was tasked with creating an animated short on any topic of my choosing, with the goal of teaching the viewer something in under a minute.
I felt that a worthy topic would be to highlight the impact of scientist Rosalind Franklin and her role in the discovery of the DNA double helix structure. As a woman who has witnessed misogyny in the science community in this day and age, I recognize the significance in telling the stories about women like Rosalind Franklin.

Research

To ensure I told the story accurately, I collected information from various sources such as biographical articles about Franklin, the book The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA, as well as various interviews with colleagues of Franklin, including James Watson.

Mood Board

The first step in creating this short was to assemble a mood board to lay out which design elements would be used. I wanted to focus on using actual archive images to aid in the visual storytelling. This included scans of publications and photographs of Rosalind Franklin in her lab. Given the age of the archive photographs, I wanted to keep the colour palette grayscale and add a pop of colour sparingly throughout.

The animation style was to be based on a paper cut-out style with added ripped paper textures.

A moodboard for the animated short. This collage features images of ripped paper, a portrait of Rosalind Franklin, and a colour palette of tones of grey and yellow.

Storyboard

After compiling all the information about Rosalind Franklin, I had to write up a script that presented all the necessary information in under 60 seconds. I then created a rough storyboard to match the script with appropriate visuals and to ensure proper pacing of the video.

Style Frames

To mimic the look of ripped photos, I masked the edges of the photos and added a rough paper texture. Once I was happy with the look and feel of the style frames, I created the remaining assets for the final video.

A portrait photograph of Rosalind Franklin, a woman with short, dark hair, next to a clipping of Photo 51, an X-ray image of DNA.

Final Video

Since the design was focused around paper textures and real photos, I animated each asset to look like they were being pushed around, as if they were a part of a scrapbook. The final animated short is effective in telling an incredibly complex story in under 60 seconds, with a design that matches the tone and time period.